Skip to main content

A pedestrian waits to cross the intersection of Front St. West at Bay St. in Torontoon Jan 11.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Hospital setting

Re More For-profit Surgery Is Bad For Ontario (Jan. 20): Years ago, I consulted an oral surgeon about extracting badly impacted wisdom teeth.

We set a date for surgery, but it was to take place in a Toronto hospital. When I questioned why, he replied, “Just in case.”

After surgery, I awoke to find four doctors around my bed, plus several nurses. It turned out that one of my sockets had gushed blood and there were problems stemming the flow. It was in danger of being aspirated, and staff were set to intubate me or perform a tracheotomy. Luckily, they were able to pack the incision and staunch the flow.

When calm returned and I was alone with my oral surgeon, he said, “Now you know why I prefer the hospital for difficult procedures. Imagine if this had happened in my surgery.”

His words stayed with me, and made me wonder if risks are increased during surgeries at private clinics.

Malcolm Lowe Markham, Ont.

I have an alternative.

This past summer, I went to St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto while suffering from chest pains. I saw the triage nurse and was given No. 87 – No. 52 was then being served.

An hour later they were serving No. 58, at which point I stood up, went back to the triage nurse and said, “Are you kidding me? I’m having a heart attack and I’m to wait out here for three more hours?”

To say that my voice was loud would be an understatement. I saw a doctor five minutes later.

So there we have it. Don’t rub our hands politely in ideological fright while changing nothing. Just scream. It worked for me.

Don McLauchlin Toronto

Up, up and…

Re Greedy Landlords Are A Part Of The Unaffordable Rent Story (Report on Business, Jan. 10): There is also the devastating impact of unregulated rent in Ontario buildings built since November, 2018.

Every year, as hundreds of new towers go up across the province, tens of thousands of additional renters are forced into the unsustainable reality of sudden, astronomical rent increases. As a tenant myself, I have faced a 19-per-cent rent increase and 60-per-cent increase on two unregulated newer buildings in Waterloo region within the past 13 months.

Outsized rent increases can present a life-altering situation, forcing relocation, financial devastation and complete upheaval of one’s entire life. The impact of unregulated rent should be a bigger part of the discussion on the housing crisis.

Rebecca Wagner Kitchener, Ont.

So go downtown

Re The Problem With Public-transit Service Cuts (Jan. 16): I was lucky to spend time recently in Sydney, Australia, and Kobe, Japan, where the public transportation systems left me scratching my head.

How is it that these cities managed to create systems that are reliable, affordable and safe? They also take passengers anywhere they need to go, not only in the city core but well into outer suburbs.

Meanwhile, Toronto is considering making an already broken system even worse with cuts in service. World-class city? I don’t think so.

Brigitte Waisberg Toronto

Re The Dangers Of Downtown’s Decline (Jan. 14): We should be thinking about converting unused office space to affordable and supportive housing.

We need hundreds of thousands of units. Converting existing spaces will save time, money and reduce NIMBYism.

Steve Lurie CM; Senior fellow, Wellesley Institute Toronto

If one discusses why downtown Toronto is becoming a postpandemic ghost town, one should also consider changes to how people commute. The city has made driving downtown a near impossibility.

In the east end, we used to have at least six arteries that could get one downtown. They have been systematically choked off with bikes lanes and restaurant patios that effectively make them one lane each way.

Streetcars, which should be the alternative, get stuck in the same traffic. I think the reason people ride bikes is because transit alternatives are woefully inadequate.

It is no wonder people prefer to work from home.

Derek Jansen Toronto

Exit strategy

Re Hydro-Québec Chief Executive Sophie Brochu Resigns From Energy Giant (Report on Business, Jan. 11): It is clear to me that Hydro-Québec is losing a CEO with a steady hand and fundamental grasp of how best laid plans often go awry.

Sophie Brochu should be lauded for her understandable reluctance to buy into the expansionist visions of her political masters. I’ll wager her warning, that Hydro-Québec risks becoming the “Dollarama” of utilities, falls on deaf ears.

I wish I understood how executives will factor accelerated climate change into the cost-benefit analysis of their grand endeavours. With Mother Nature’s tendency of late to visit drought, deluge and disappearing glaciers on vast regions of the planet, one wonders how mammoth hydroelectric proposals aren’t laughed out of the room at inception.

With the benefit of hindsight – namely vast mountains of carbon-intensive concrete, massive alterations to ecosystems and First Nations land and breathtaking cost overruns inevitably layered on future ratepayers – I hope that clearer heads prevail.

Tom Bergen Kitchener, Ont.

All welcome?

Re How Anti-LGBTQ Beliefs Are Affecting Winnipeg Spaces (Jan. 14): I am grateful for The Edge and and its role in nurturing Winnipeg’s outstanding skater culture known to manifest many Christ-like qualities: kindness, love, acceptance, enthusiasm and joy. These seem to be in short supply these days with the skate park’s significantly reduced schedule. Quite a shame.

Should Youth For Christ elect to accept all people as volunteers and staff, I suspect it would be able to restore a full schedule and return to a just stewardship of what donors (like me) and the public purse have bestowed.

Don Derksen Winnipeg

“Should religious groups with openly exclusionary policies receive public funding?” Clearly, resoundingly, unequivocally, the answer should be no.

I would like to see our provincial and federal human-rights acts amended to remove exemptions for religious organizations in relation to projects that receive public funding. Once a religious organization takes a penny of public money, it should be bound by the same anti-discrimination rules as everyone else.

Dianne Skoll Ottawa

Proper response

Re Prince Harry Struggles To Make Peace With His Past In Memoir (Arts & Books, Jan. 14): I am astounded at the level of vitriol that has greeted the publication of Spare.

For decades, the British press has published private details of the Royal Family. The more salacious, the better. Why? Because it sells newspapers. Why? Because the public, particularly the British public, laps it up.

That Prince Harry wants to take control of his narrative and (gasp) be paid for it is, according to the press and public, hypocritical. He should have kept quiet and carried on, like a good royal, for the public’s entertainment and the press’s profit. Why?

Sylvia Davis Toronto

Coming soon

Re Former British PM Johnson Signs Deal For Memoir (Jan. 17) and Private-schools Tycoon Guaranteed Credit Facility For Johnson While He Was PM (Jan. 19): Considering what I’ve seen of Boris Johnson’s predilection for fabrication and unfamiliarity with truthfulness, will this book be released under the category of fiction?

John Mitchell Toronto

Letters to the Editor should be exclusive to The Globe and Mail. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. Try to keep letters to fewer than 150 words. Letters may be edited for length and clarity. To submit a letter by e-mail, click here: